Man with ‘anti-government views’ set fire to San Antonio cell phone tower, investigators say

Sean Smith was on a ‘mission’ to torch 5G cell phone towers, affidavit states

Two people have been identified as suspects in a cell phone tower fire that happened on the West Side of San Antonio in May 2021. (Pixabay)

SAN ANTONIO – An arrest has been made in connection with a West Side cell phone tower fire that occurred last May, according to an arrest affidavit.

Coley Lane Dupre, 19, is accused of setting a cell phone tower on fire at 1818 Hunt Lane on May 24, 2021. Dupre was arrested on the arson charge Sunday.

The affidavit also named Sean Smith, 28, as a suspect in the case. Though he has not been formally charged with arson yet, jail officials confirmed he is being held without bond on numerous other charges in unrelated cases — including weapon and drug possession charges along with one charge of tampering with evidence.

Sean Smith, left, and Coley Dupre, right, have been identified as suspects in a May 2021 cell phone tower fire. (KSAT)

The suspects were recently identified after a witness told a Texas Ranger investigator that her friend, Smith, “possessed anti-government views” and was on a mission “to burn down 5G cell phone towers,” according to an arrest affidavit.

Records show Smith was taken into custody later that day on outstanding criminal warrants.

Investigators then tracked down Dupre, who was shown surveillance images of the fire.

Dupre confirmed that the two people in the surveillance video were her and Smith, according to the affidavit.

Dupre told investigators that she was the “lookout” while Smith, who wore an orange shirt and white hard hat, torched the cell phone tower.

Smith is being held in Bexar County Jail without bond. Dupre’s bail was set at $50,000, records show.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.